In Search Of The Master (Chapter 2)

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Having freed herself from James’s embrace, Di moved, to the rear and leant against a wall. Kneeling James opened his tool bag, as in a distant corner, of the cellar, a shape moved. Before Di knew what had happened, Al was stood, between her and the moving shape and James had pulled a light out, of the bag, and turned it on.

As the light’s strength grew, it slowly spread its circle of illumination out over the vast expanse of the cellar. Its light first illuminated the tool bag and a small circle of the cellar’s earthen floor. Then James, Al and Di were in the pool, of light. Expanding slowly, the circle of light encompassed one, then three and finally — when the light reached all of the cellar — there were five massive wooden chests illuminated, by it. It was at this time, that Di saw, why Al had moved, to shield her, this triggered the raising and aiming of her repeating crossbow, at the feral humanoid shape, that leapt, from the corner, of the cellar. Dropping the shotgun, Al allowed blades to spring forth from her hands, as she jumped, to intercept the creature.

With incomprehensible speed, James moved, to protect Di, “Di? What do you mean, they’re all too young…”

Di thought back to him; «Use the link, you idiot. Not enough power here, an army of these…»

Parrying the creature’s fangs, with her sinister blade, as it went to bite her, Al’s dexter one punched, through the creatures leathery stomach. If leather covered bone, could have, formed expressions, the creature’s face would have shown its surprise. What is this thing, it is too fast to be living and it is certainly not one of us, the unquiet ones, were the general nature of its thoughts, as Al’s hand reached up, through the gash, in its stomach, and tore out its heart.

James sent, «They’re waking.»

With a scalpel, Di gashed her left-hand and then reached into a belt pouch with her right; «Get out! I…»

As a creature smashed, its way out, of a chest, Al moved, to protect Di, dropping the heart, at Di’s feet. James’s hands were hard, even for Al, to see, as they moved, to grab the creature. Before the animated cadaver could react, to his assault, James had secured a grip upon its head.

Di sent to Al, «Fire, Water.»

As James lifted the creature, from the chest, it struggled, for a fraction of a second, then lost all of its animation. With the cadaver hanging limply, from the grip, of James’s raised arms, he watched Jo and Di calmly continue with their artistic preparations. Whilst Al was pouring two liquids, onto the floor, the tops of the other chests started to splinter. With more creatures started to emerge, from the other chests, Al lit one, of the pools, of liquid.

Di shouted, “Out now!” Even as she shouted, the objects her right-hand held, were hot and eager, to do as their nature demanded. Everywhere in the cellar, the five were eager to join and re-establish order.

Al leapt up and out, of the doorway as James, who after a glance at Di, for reassurance, flew upwards. Leaving Di alone, to face her fate, he streaked out of the cellar, carrying the cadaver, in his hands. Before James’s had passed through the entrance, to the cellar, the unquiet ones arose, from their resting places and began moving towards the available meal. With silver glistering, in Di’s hand, she withdrew the stars, from their home – a pouch. One of the unquiet ones wheezed, a laugh, when it saw that Di did not, intend to, present a cross, to protect herself. Blood from Di’s left hand fell upon her right, as she threw the eager foci, chanting,

“Sol Invictus!”

A claw arced, towards Di, only to have a silver star intercept it. Three more flew at the heads of the other creatures. A fifth dropped to the floor. The four unquiet ones howled and clawed, at the pentacles, that shone so brightly, that Di had to shield her eyen from the light.

After Di repeated the chant, blood from her wound, fire from the burning pool, of liquid, water from the other puddle, earth from the floor and a wind all raced towards the pentacles. As the five sought union, the four creatures’ forms became distorted, in such a way that their hands, feet and heads all touched, different points of, the stars. With the temperature rapidly rising in the cellar, the unquiet ones started to burn. As the flames arced around the cadaverous forms, there were four small explosions. As the sound echoed around the cellar, beams of light erupted from where the creatures had been. Eagerly seeking a target, the beams raced back towards Di. Upon their impact with her, Di collapsed. Thereafter there were only fine ashes and the pentacles, where the blood drinkers had been.

As Di struggled to reach the heart, James went to enter the cellar. Upon seeing him, she gasped, “Wait!” Using the last resources of her inner strength, Di pushed the heart, onto the still glowing star, passing out as soon as the pentacle touched the heart. An instant after the star made contact, with the heart, the heart was burnt to ashes and the pentacles ceased to glow. Within seconds of the heart being reduced to ashes, the corpse – it had come from – crumbled to dust.

On seeing Di pass out, James went to enter the cellar, again, “Di!”

His path was blocked, by Al, “Not you! They’re not…”

James whole body tensed, then relaxed, as reason took over, from emotion, “You are right. Just bring her, here to me. So I can restore her.”

Egregiously fast, Jo came running down the corridor, «What happened? Why the pain?» There was no reply, so Jo verbalised the questions.

Once Jo was there – to keep James calm – Al jumped down into the cellar. Upon her re-entry, into the cellar, the pentacles started to vibrate, becoming even more active the closer she approached them. With a click, of her fingers, and a single word, Al smothered the fire. Once the fire had been quenched, the five stars calmed down. Kneeling Al touched Di, who was feverish, and then rolled her, onto her back, uncovering the gash, in Di’s left palm. The blood that flowed, from that gash, glowed and smelt of power. After a glance up at James, who nodded, her mouth greedily descended onto the gash, in Di’s palm. As she licked and sucked, at the wound, the power, that was in the blood, heightened her desire for blood, until two wills, that were not her own, had to overcome her growing hunger. Slowly, very slowly, Al’s head moved away from the wound, whose blood-flow quickly waned, once Al had stopped feeding, from the wound. The blood-flow having stopped, James sensed that it was safe for him to enter and go to Di. As Jay re-entered the cellar, Al, constantly fighting her desire, to have lunch, cautiously stood and moved away from the unconscious Di.

Once Al had control of herself, she slid a glove onto her right hand and picked up the five pentacles. Whilst Al was so engaged, James floated down to where Di lay. Upon reaching her, he held her hands, against his own temples; “Di, Diane, take what y…” Falling silent, when his contact with her, told him that, more energy, was the last thing that she needed. That being the case, his hands went to her temples, “Let it flow into me.”

Upon his fingers contacting with her temples, energy started to flow, through her body, towards her temples, then into his hands, after which it travelled through James’s body. With the channel established, he let some, of it, expend itself healing his sunburn. Once Di had started to recover, her hands moved slowly, oh so very slowly, towards James’s temples. Her action surprised Jay who could not believe that she would want, to take back energy, while still allowing him to take it, away from her. After this, the flow of energy became two-way, a symbiotic exchange, despite some of the energy being dissipated, as it was transferred between them. As the energy cycled between them, its nature changed – the archetypal energy that left Di, returned as life-force. When Di ended the sharing, of energies, James’s clothes looked as if they needed to be let-out.

Sitting up, Di accepted the pentacles from Al and then slid them back, into the pouch, “Thanks. Did you enjoy your snacks?”

This drew a shrug from James, who then smiled, “At least we do not have eyen bigger than our tummies.” Continuing after a glance to Al, “ She is better. Yes, lunch was delightful.”

Cautiously, Di stood, picked up her crossbow, “There are none left here; which of you needs the aspirin?”

Al shook her head, “We all do, it’s you, who has the headache.”

The look Di gave them said, ‘I will be fine, no more fussing over me, or else’; “I’ll cure it myself, while the two of you clean up.”

James tore around the cellar, destroying the chests and any other evidence, that might have proved that the unquiet ones had been there. As he did this, Al collected up the tool bags and lantern.

Over the course of a few minutes, Al came to feel and see Di’s growing distress, “Jay!” Di collapsed again, so Al demanded, “James! Get her out! Get her out of here! NOW!”

Upon hearing this, James scooped Di up and flew out, of the cellar, with her; as they left, Al tried to open her mind, to the cellar, and found that something stopped her. She started to feel too hot, so much so that it made her follow James out of the cellar. Once Al had achieved egress, Jo slammed the cellar door, after her, only for it to lock itself, as soon as it closed.

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